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COVID-19 – Slowing the spread means following the rules


In efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19, a number of restrictions and Provincial Orders have been put in place over the past few weeks. To help simplify what Londoners can and can’t do as a result of these Orders, the City is providing the following information.

What’s closed?

All outdoor recreation facilities remain closed including:

  • Playgrounds
  • Soccer pitches
  • Baseball diamonds
  • Tennis courts
  • Basketball courts
  • Skate parks
  • Golf courses
  • Off-leash dog parks
  • Community gardens
  • Benches, picnic areas, park shelters and outdoor exercise equipment.

Can I go outside?

The Province of Ontario is strongly urging everyone to stay home except for essential reasons – groceries, prescriptions, medical appointments, for example – and to limit the number of trips outside.  If you’re over 70 years old, or you have a compromised immune system or medical condition, the Province is also suggesting that you self-isolate and get help for essential errands.

Can I use the park?

Parks, green space, trails and pathways remain open for walking and biking through only. They aren’t for gathering, and if you are in an open green space, maintaining physical distance of no less than 6 feet is required at all times.

One way to maintain 6 feet of physical distance is to find a path less travelled. A list of pathways and parks can be found on CityMap Parks and Pathways.  

Can I meet up with my friends?

Organized social gatherings and public events of more than five people are not allowed in London and across the Province. This includes social gatherings held in private homes with people who don’t reside there. Households where more than five people live are exempt. Unless it’s essential, health officials and the Province are strongly urging you to stay home.

Can my business stay open?
The Province has updated their essential businesses and services list. Reducing the number of businesses that can stay open, and modifying how services are delivered – takeout only, curbside pick-up and delivery, for example – are some of the ways the Province is hoping to minimize the risk of transferring COVID-19.  

Business owners with questions on whether they fall within the list of essential businesses and services can call 1-888-444-3659.

Can I enjoy a backyard fire?

Yes. 
Effective May 8: The open air burning ban has been lifted.

Note: April 1 to May 7 - An open air burning ban was in effect.

Will I get a ticket?
You could. All of these measures are in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Now isn’t the time to take these orders lightly.

If you choose to ignore them, not only are you putting your health, the health of your family and the health of your community at risk, you could face a fine of $750 for failure to comply with an order made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act or $1,000 for obstructing any person in exercising a power if a provincial offences officer issues a ticket.

In addition, failure to comply with an emergency order could carry punishments of up to one-year imprisonment or a fine of up to $100,000 for an individual, $500,000 for a director of a corporation, or $10,000,000 for a corporation itself if a provincial offences officer charges the individual by issuing a summons.

Residents who have concerns about businesses and individuals who are not following COVID-19 related orders can contact COVIDOrderConcerns@london.ca / 519-661-4660.

Why are these restrictions in place?

The province has enacted a declaration of emergency to help contain the spread of COVID-19 and protect the public. These measures are for your health, the health of your loved ones and the community. For more information from the Ontario Government on measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19, please visit ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus

“Now is the time for every one of us to be doing everything we possibly can to slow the spread of COVID-19,” said London Mayor Ed Holder. “I know these restrictions may be difficult, but I can’t stress enough that they are necessary. Sometimes, staying safe and staying healthy means following all of the rules.”

What else can I do to slow the spread of COVID-19?
We’re glad you asked! Here is advice provided by the Middlesex-London Public Health Unit:

  • Stay home except for essential trips
  • Stay six feet away from others
  • Avoid non-essential gatherings
  • Work from home if possible
  • Quarantine for 14 days if you’ve been outside of Canada
  • Self-isolate for 14 days if you have any symptoms of COVID-19
  • Wash your hands with soap and water often (for 15 to 20 seconds)
  • Cover coughs/sneezes with your sleeve or sneeze into your elbow
  • Clean and disinfect high touch areas frequently

For additional information about COVID-19 and health impacts, visit www.healthunit.com or take the COVID-19 Self Assessment Test for Middlesex London